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35 swine flu cases in India as virus spreads
New Delhi/Hyderabad/Jalandhar: Four people including a six-year-old boy tested positive for swine flu in the national capital, taking the total number of influenza A (H1N1) cases in India to 35, health officials said here Wednesday.

"Four more people tested positive for the swine flu Wednesday morning," Delhi Health Minister Kiran Walia tsaid.

She said these people were admitted to the Airport Health Organisation hospital (APHO).

Among them is a 10-year-old boy who came from Canada via Amsterdam. He came to Delhi June 14 and reported to the health facility June 16, an official said here.

A 35-year-old woman and her six-year-old son, who had come here from Chicago, also tested positive.

The fourth person is a 17-year-old boy, who travelled from Washington to New Delhi via Doha, and reached here June 14. He reported his symptoms June 16.

"They have been kept in isolation and their contacts are being identified," Walia said.

According to officials in Delhi, a 16-year-old boy, who had also gone to the US for an educational trip to NASA, was admitted to the Deen Dayal Upadhayay Hospital Sunday with suspected swine flu-like symptoms.

However, he left the hospital Wednesday morning reportedly as there were no facilities for treatment. Health officials later brought him back there.

"He walked out of the hospital. But was later brought back and is now in the isolation ward. All the facilities are in place," Delhi Health Secretary J P Singh said.

He said all the Delhi government hospitals have been asked to prepare isolation wards within two to three days.

In the Punjab city of Jalandhar, one more student was quarantined with swine flu symptoms after he complained of a running nose, bodyache and high fever, officials said.

He is among a group of 31 students and three teachers of the Guru Amar Das Public School that went to New York and Florida on an educational trip to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Eight of his fellow students have already been detected with swine flu.

Officials were also making a list of around 200 people who came in contact with these students before they were hospitalised.

"We are happy that all the students are recovering well. We have all the medicines and equipments to tackle this disease," S S Walia, a surgeon at the Jalandhar civil hospital, said.

The group of students and teachers had returned from the US to New Delhi Saturday aboard a Qatar Airlines flight via Doha. One of them, a Class 12 student, tested positive for the swine flu virus in New Delhi.

The rest of the group travelled to Jalandhar by road. Of them, seven tested positive on Monday.

In Hyderabad, which has reported the maximum number of cases - 13 patients - among Indian cities, a man, who arrived Wednesday from Kuwait, was admitted to a hospital with the swine flu-like sysmptoms.

Doctors said he was under observation and his throat and nasal swabs were sent to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), New Delhi.

The doctors were also waiting for the results of the tests of two people now under observation.

In Himmatnagar town of north Gujarat, an 11-year old girl and her parents have been quarantined in a government hospital. The girl displayed swine flu-like symptoms after returning from the US.

Of the 35 cases in India, 13 have been reported from Hyderabad, eight from Jalandhar, nine from Delhi, two each from Mumbai and Coimbatore and one from Goa.

Twelve of them have been discharged.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), at least 76 countries have officially reported 35,928 cases of influenza A(H1N1) infection, including 163 deaths. Most of these deaths have been reported from Mexico and the US.

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